Narratives of Loss: 9/11 and the American Literary Landscape

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Summer 2012


Now considered both a cultural and political epoch, the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City continue to resonate into the second decade of the 21st century. This hotbed issue has sparked countless, controversial debates, but the fundamental trauma of the attacks is still unresolved. Any personal trauma can be challenging to approach, but a wound as colossally deep as September 11th, 2001 can seem impossible to heal. For it is critical this wound is healed, and not simply plastered over and forgotten. It is the seemingly paradoxical task of fiction to shoulder this burden, to both heal and remember. However, what proves to be significant about post-9/11 literature is that in addressing issues of trauma and history, these authors create a counter-narrative that runs contrary to the pervasive hatred and fear-driven narratives of the state and mainstream media.


Hunter Hayes

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities